Mystery, murder and memoir – Lincoln Book Festival 2021 author events revealed 

Magnifying glass

Lincoln Book Festival has revealed details of its upcoming programme of guest author talks, featuring gripping true tales of Cold War intrigue, an artistic tour of the Eternal City, and a dose of detective mystery across a varied week-long series of literary events this October.

The city’s annual literary festival returns on 11 October 2021 and organisers have announced some of the acclaimed novelists, historians and journalists who will be delivering talks, readings and Q&As for audiences of booklovers.

Lincoln Book Festival chair Phil Hamlyn Williams said: “We are looking forward to once again bringing audiences and authors together for the unique conversations that have been the hallmark of the festival for many years. We’re delighted to welcome some familiar names as well as several exciting new voices, and we believe there should be plenty in the festival week to entertain fans of different genres.” 

Christy Lefteri

Christy Lefteri. Photo copyright Kieran Coatman by Venture Studios

Fiction stars include Lincolnshire based clinical psychologist and thriller writer Philippa East with her suspense-filled new novel, Safe and Sound (HarperCollins, 2021); Christy Lefteri, author of million copy bestseller The Beekeeper of Aleppo, whose new book Songbirds (Manilla, 2021) has received critical acclaim; and Annie Garthwaite, whose stunning debut novel Cecily (Penguin Books, 2021) looks at the Wars of the Roses through the eyes of the Duchess of York.

Crime writing superstar Mark Billingham will cast light on his thrilling new novel Rabbit Hole (LittleBrown, 2021). Mark, who started his writing career 20 years ago with his iconic debut Sleepyhead, has now had 20 Sunday Times bestsellers, selling over 6 million copies. Rabbit Hole is a “fast paced and twisting” thriller about a murder on a psychiatric ward touted by The Times for the Booker Prize shortlist.

Children and families can enjoy fantastical storytelling and marvellous mystery with children’s writer Sophie Cleverly, creator of the Scarlet & Ivy books (HarperCollins), who will introduce her new detective story series, The Violet Veil Mysteries.

In non-fiction, narrative historian Giles Milton intrigues audiences with his riveting new book Checkmate in Berlin (John Murray Press, 2021) about Berlin in the years after the Second World War and its place in the first exchanges of the Cold War. The Mail on Sunday called it “As gripping as any thriller”.

Will Self credit Chris Close _ cropped

Will Self. Photo credit Chris Close.

Award-winning novelist and journalist Will Self discusses his latest book, Will (Penguin, 2020) – a funny, candid memoir and about his past battles with addiction. The Spectator called it “a masterpiece of black humour… A kind of inverse of Brideshead Revisited”.

In The Duchess Countess (Simon and Schuster, 2021) author, editor and journalist Catherine Ostler tells the remarkable true story of Elizabeth Chudleigh, Duchess of Kingston and Countess of Bristol, whose extravagance delighted Eighteenth Century Britain until she was embroiled in a scandal that gripped London society.

Loyd Grossman

Loyd Grossman

Lincoln Book Festival also welcomes Loyd Grossman CBE, the author, journalist and broadcaster perhaps best known for his TV roles. His new book An Elephant In Rome: Bernini, The Pope, And The Making Of The Eternal City (Pallas Athene, 2020) explores the intertwined lives of artist Gian Lorenzo Bernini and Pope Alexander VII as one of the greatest artistic double acts in history.

More Lincoln Book Festival 2021 events will be confirmed in the coming weeks. Prizes for the latest winners of the festival’s annual flash fiction competition will be announced during the festival, there is a workshop on self-publishing for aspiring authors, readings of new works by creative writing students, and some literary-themed social events.

Most author talks take place at The Collection on Danes Terrace in Lincoln’s Cultural Quarter. In a change to previous festivals, tickets will be available via the LPAC Box Office. Tickets will be on sale soon (September 2021) with most author events priced £10. Please see the Programme pages of our festival website for the latest event information, ticketing details and booking links.